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What Business Owners Can Still Do Now for a Successful 2018

The election was last week, Thanksgiving is coming, and so is 2019. While the next few weeks will be full of friends and family, the intelligent business owner should attend to important business tasks as well.

Preparation: • To know where you’re going in 2019, you need to know where you’ve been this year. Make sure your bookkeeping, expenses and billing are up to date. Run a cashflow statement and a balance sheet.

• Talk to your accountant about anything you can do now to lower your tax bill or otherwise save money.

• Make sure you have filed your annual report with the North Carolina Secretary of State (both corporations and LLCs) and, if required, held your annual meetings (definitely corporations, and LLCs if required by your Operating Agreement).

• Review your HR/personnel files. Is payroll correct? Have you accounted for fringe benefits? Are all employee matters documented and contained in the records (and while you are at it, make sure these files are locked or password protected). Strategy: • Now that you have a handle on the data, you can look for the story it tells. What worked, what didn’t? What cost more than expected? What led to greater success?

• Adjust the budget for next year based on the lessons this year taught.

• Can you outsource routine tasks to a virtual assistant or bookkeeper? What about content creation? A payroll company? (I highly recommend these)

• Do your logo or website or printed materials need updating?

• Do you have surplus funds to reinvest in the business? Where would that best be spent (computer upgrades, hiring additional people)?

Year-end planning is an important part of owning a successful business. You can’t put it off much longer. Here’s to a profitable 2019!

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